How We Communicate #4: Sandy Adams

By Richard Hughes on October 22, 2014

sandyFirst, tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m BroadVision’s General Counsel: I bring a mix of law firm and in-house legal experience to the wide array of issues and opportunities facing the company. As in-house counsel I’m expected to provide business-savvy solutions to the legal issues encountered by the company. Primarily, I work either from my home office in Illinois or from corporate headquarters in California.

How many different services do you send and receive business-related messages through (and what are they?)

Most of my communication inside BroadVision is either on Vmoso or Clearvale, with occasional emails or Skype messages. Skype for phone calls or department meetings. Outside of the company, most of my business communication is through email, mobile phone calls, and/or texting.

What’s the first communication tool you check in the morning when you start work? And what device do you access it from?

I log into email, Clearvale, and Vmoso within the minutes of starting my work day. Since most work is now assigned through Clearvale and Vmoso I check both of them prior to going through my other emails (unless I’m waiting for a reply from someone outside of BroadVision, in which case I scan my emails for these replies). If I’m in the office, whether home or corporate, I always use my laptop. If I’m traveling I primarily use my smartphone or iPad, but will switch to my laptop if I need to review or draft documents or write a lengthy response.

How much of your communication takes place from your desk, and how much while you’re away from your desk?

90%/10% if I am in the office; 20%/80% if I’m out of the office.

Do you check messages as soon as they arrive, or save them up for specific times of the day?

Varies, but I try to read everything as soon as I notice it. If I’m at my desk I try to read messages as soon as or very shortly after they arrive. If I’ve been away from my desk (whether that be overnight or even for short breaks) then I at least scan Vmoso, Clearvale and email messages when I’m back at my desk and read those that I rate to be the most important, saving or deleting the rest. For email it seems at least 50% are usually not required for my current work – many are from associations to which I belong, or legal firms sending notices of recent decisions or new regulations/laws they believe are of interest to our company, or solicitations from companies/law firms wanting to sell their services.

How has the way you communicate changed over the last 3 years?

When I’m in my home office, I’ve switched almost entirely to Clearvale and Vmoso for my internal communications over the past 3 years, with email and Skype communications becoming less and less useful. When I’m in corporate headquarters, I do like to meet face to face with other employees.

But, the past 3 years have seen a dramatic change in how and who I get information from; I guess you could say this is how I communicate as well although it is mostly pulling information in. This started with Clearvale; I found that I had been missing so much of interest that was going on in the company (sometimes even things I should have known about as there were potential legal consequences) and that I was able to learn about by reading what was posted on Clearvale. I think this might be common for most of us in the finance group, pre-Clearvale I thought because I worked with other departments on issues, deals, and projects, that I knew what was going on in the company. In reality I was quite naïve, fairly unconnected with the other departments; but now I’m more aware of what’s going on; able to read posts on all sorts of topics, learn what’s going on, understand and participate in conversations, and offer advice (even when it’s not directly solicited).

Email – your best friend or worst enemy?

Neither, I’d say somewhere in between. I find Clearvale and Vmoso more informative than email ever proved to be, but there are times when email is still required for legal communications, at least externally.

Popup notifications – love them or hate them?

Again, neither. I sort of tune them out most of the time. But I do like them when they remind me of an important meeting/call. I tend to get engrossed in what I’m reading or working on and lose track of time.

If I stole your smart phone and only gave it back to you after I deleted every app except one, which one would you choose to keep?

I guess it would have to be email; unfortunately that is still how I communicate outside of BroadVision.

How do you hope Vmoso will improve your business communication?

I’m still learning and hopefully improving. Last week I learned how to use filters to choose what I see; I’m able to find what I need to work on and still have time to locate items of interest even when I’m not a direct participant. I’m hopeful that with Vmoso will consolidate all the information I need to work productively, and to be a collaborative and truly connected company resource.